Winners Of 2012 'National Geographic' Photography Contest
Published 10 January 2013
The judges at "National Geographic" looked at more than 22,000 images submitted by photographers from 150 countries before deciding on the winners of the magazine's 2012 photo contest. Entries were evaluated in three categories: People, Places, and Nature.
Ashley Vincent of Conburi, Thailand, won the $10,000 grand prize (and first place in the Nature category) for his incredible freeze-frame of a tigress in a Thai zoo shaking off after a dip. Nenad Salijic of Split, Croatia, came in first in the Places category for his moody image of the Swiss mountain The Matterhorn, while Micah Albert of Fair Oaks, California, placed first in the People category for his striking photograph of women picking through a huge garbage dump adjacent to slums outside Nairobi, Kenya. The dump is blamed for a host of ailments that plague the slums' 1 million inhabitants.
The contest was judged by natural history photographer Christian Ziegler and documentary photographers Gerd Ludwig and Debbie Fleming Caffery.
Ken Geiger, the magazine's deputy director of photography, says the caliber of entries continues to amaze him.
"The sheer amount of entries shows how important and accessible digital photography has become," Geiger says, "allowing photographers worldwide to share their vision and experiences." (14 PHOTOS)
GRAND PRIZE: "Explosion" -- The subject's name is Busaba, a well-cared-for Indochinese tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioral shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool, then shaking herself dry. In all humility, I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favorably on me that day! (Caption by photographer Ashley Vincent)
1st PLACE FOR PLACES: The Matterhorn (Zermatt, Switzerland) -- The Matterhorn, 4,478 meters at full moon. (Caption by photographer Nenad Salijic)
1st PLACE FOR PEOPLE: Amongst the Scavengers (Dandora Municipal Dump Site, near Nairobi, Kenya) -- At the end of the day, women are allowed to pick through the dumpsite. (Caption by photographer Micah Albert)
VIEWER'S CHOICE FOR PLACES: Iceberg Hunters (Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada) -- Chipping ice off an iceberg is a common way for the Inuit community to retrieve fresh drinking water while on the land. During a weekend-long hunting trip we came upon this majestic iceberg frozen in place. It was a perfect opportunity to grab enough ice and drinking water for the remainder of the trip. (Caption by photographer Adam Coish)
VIEWER'S CHOICE FOR PEOPLE: Expedition Amundsen (Hardangervidda, Norway) -- A race that follows in the path of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen brings the contestants to the Hardangervidda Mountain Plateu, Norway. One-hundred kilometers across the plateau, the exact same route Amundsen used to prepare for his South Pole expedition in 1911 is still used by explorers today. Amundsen did not manage to cross the plateau and had to turn back because of bad weather. He allegedly said that the attempt to cross Hardangervidda was just as dangerous and hard as the conquering of the South Pole. The group in the picture used the race as preparations for an attempt to cross Greenland. (Caption by photographer Kai-Otto Melau)
VIEWER'S CHOICE FOR NATURE: Tender Moment (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya) -- Every day in Mara starts with something new and different and the day ends with memorable experiences with spectacular photographs. I was very lucky of sighting and photographing Malaika, the name of this female cheetah and her cub. She is well known for her habit to jump on vehicles. She learned that from her mother, Kike, and Kike from her mother, Amber. Like her mother, she is teaching lessons to her cub. Teaching lessons means the addition of another moment for tourists. This is one of the tender moments between Malaika and her cub. I was very lucky to capture that moment. (Caption by photographer Sanjeev Bhor)
HONORABLE MENTION: Red Fox Catching Mouse Under Snow (Squaw Creek, Park County, Wyoming) -- With his exceptional hearing, a red fox has targeted a mouse hidden under 2 feet (0.6 meters) of crusted snow. Springing high in the air, he breaks through the crusted spring snow with his nose. His body is completely vertical as he grabs the mouse under the snow. (Caption by photographer Michael Eastman)
HONORABLE MENTION: Chinese Traditional Dragon Boat Racing (Yanbu Town, Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China) -- Dragon boating is a traditional Chinese entertainment. As an aquatic sport to memorize Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet in ancient China, it is usually held in festivals which can be traced back 2,000 years. (Caption by photographer 关嘉城)
HONORABLE MENTION: East Of Iceland (Just east of Jokulsarlon Lagoon, Iceland) -- Glacial ice washes ashore after calving off the Breioeamerkurjoekull glacier on Iceland's eastern coast. During the waning light of summer, this image was created over the course of a four-minute exposure while the photographer backlit the grounded glacial ice with a headlamp for two of those four minutes. (Caption by photographer Eric Guth)
HONORABLE MENTION: Captive (Bekasi, Indonesia) -- Yayasan Galuh Rehabilitation Center is an impoverished mental-health facility based in Bekasi, Indonesia, that hosts over 250 patients. Most come from poor families no longer interested in managing their condition or who are unable. Some patients are homeless, deposited after being taken off the streets by police. The only medical treatment received is for skin conditions. No assessments, psychotherapy, or psychiatric medications are available. Over one-third of the patients are shackled in chains. These measures are implemented to those thought to be violent, uncontrollable, and dangerous. (Caption by photographer Wendell Philllips)
HONORABLE MENTION: Eerie Eiffel (Paris, France) -- The winter gloomy day worked to my advantage to create this eerie feeling of the famous landmark Eiffel Tower. (Caption by photographer Indra Swari Wonowidjojo)
HONORABLE MENTION: Predation Up Close And Personal (Komodo, Indonesia) -- I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience. (Caption by photographer Fransisca Harlijanto)
HONORABLE MENTION: Ursus Arctos Horribilis (Bear Creek, Lake Aleknagik, Alaska) -- This photo of a wild Alaskan brown bear digging on a game trail was taken with a homemade motion-controlled triggering device hooked up to my DSLR. (Caption by photographer Jason Ching)
HONORABLE MENTION: Stilt Fishing (Midigama, Sri Lanka) -- Stilt fishing is a typical fishing technique only seen in Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole planted into the coral reef. This long exposure shot shows how unstable their position is. (Caption by photographer Ulrich Lambert)